Facing each other for the first time on the ATP Tour, Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev played an excellent match in the third round in Shanghai 2017. The Argentine emerged as a winner after overcoming the young German 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 55 minutes.
Both players served at 73%, and we saw five break points in total, with one break for each. Del Potro stepped in after losing the first set, dropping seven points on serve in sets two and three and keeping the pressure on Zverev.
Alexander fired 22 aces and sailed through his service games in the first and second set, standing three points away from the triumph in the tie break. Still, he could not bring the match home, losing ground in the crucial moments to propel Juan Martin through.
The German had 46 winners and 32 unforced errors, while the Argentine produced a positive 25-14 ratio. Juan Martin outplayed his young rival in the mid-range rallies and forged his triumph in that segment. Zverev was off to a perfect start, taking 12 out of the first 14 points to create a 3-0 gap.
He earned a break in the second game with a forehand winner, and the set was in his hands when Juan Martin netted a forehand in game nine after swift 26 minutes.
Juan Martin del Potro defeated Alexander Zverev in three sets in Shanghai 2017.
Del Potro raised his level in set number two, following his opponent's pace and delivering one good hold after another after keeping his backhand safe in the exchanges.
The tie break's crucial moment was the tenth point when Delpo forced Zverev's error to move 6-4 ahead before closing the set with a service winner in the 12th point to introduce a decider. Juan Martin continued to sail through his service games in the final set, using his initial shot to prepare the ground for the forehand attacks and keep Alexander away from deuces or break chances.
In the fifth game, the German got broken after netting a backhand, breaking his racquet in frustration and falling 4-2 down when the Argentine held with a service winner. The youngster was in trouble on serve again in game nine, fending off two match points to reduce the deficit to 5-4 and force his opponent to serve for the victory.
Juan Martin did that in style, blasting another service winner to seal the deal and move to the last eight, earning enough points to crack the top-20 for the first time in three years!